Supp. Nutrition Assistance Program

(SNAP) By: Hillary Kramer

Step One: Recognizing the problem

The first proposal for food stamps was made by Henry Wallace during the time of the Great Depression, made to help people buy healthy food at a cheaper price. These food stamps were in blue and orange, blue meaning that they could buy food what the government would be considered 'surplus' food. The program then ended because there was no longer a use for it after the Great Depression passed. The government was funding approximately 4 million people at the most, which is about $262 million.

Step Two: Formulating the Policy

A woman named Leonor Sullivan made the greatest push for the idea of food stamps to pass through congress. She also advocated for perishable food items to be bought since they lasted longer. Because of Sullivan, 'Pilot Programs' were made that distributed out food stamps, even though it wasn't permanent thing, yet, because of the number of poor people increased again. The difference between the first program and this one is that this one had no 'color' oriented stamp. The director of this program was run by a woman named Isabella Kelley.

Step Three: Adopting the Policy

In 1964 the idea of food stamps became a law, signed by President Johnson. It was brought before the legislature by Secretary Orville Freeman and passed through by Leonor Sullivan. 'The Food Stamp Act of 1964' allowed people to officially use the stamps to purchase food. However it banned the purchase of 'luxury' items, such as alcoholic beverages and imported foods.

Step Four: Implementing the Policy

In 2002 the Food Stamp Act was changed slightly - they kept things the same but they added things such as: allowing the states to have the option for SNAP applicants to reapply or resubmit any information after 5 months after their leave from SNAP. It also made states reprogram their systems to keep track of their applicants information because of the option of whether or not they could reapply. It gave them a way to simplify their trackings. Also their was a card made in place of food stamps, kind of looking like a credit card named an EBT, or an Electronic Benefits Transfer. This change was made by the USDA, or the United States Department of Agriculture. EBT was developed in the late 90's to the earlier 2000's and it allowed SNAP applicants to use the EBT like a credit card, to purchase things without the use of a food stamp.

Step Five: Evaluating the Policy

SNAP has been criticized for many things; some including like being misused by people and that SNAP not providing 'healthy benefits' for those who do have SNAP. It would be easy enough for people to apply for SNAP and qualify for it, meanwhile they still would have 'nice things'. If people needed that much help, then why would they have the nice things that they have? Maybe those people should reconsider their financial situation. Also, food stamps allow people to buy what they want, including junk food items. However despite the negatives of SNAP, for the people who do actually need food stamps to get by in life, it is a wonderful system because they can get food for cheaper then normal and they can still afford it while still being able to afford their other bills and for insurance. The policy of the food stamps is to be a 'cushion' for people who can't afford to buy for themselves or their family. A temporary system in hopes that the applicants can get a job and support their families without SNAP benefits.


"Short History on SNAP." United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service. Web. 12 Nov. 2014. <>

Rosenbaum, Dorothy. "Transitional Food Stamps: Background and Implication Issues." Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. 10 Nov. 2003. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. <>.

"Policy Basis: Introduction to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)." Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Matrix Group Inc., 4 June 2014. Web. 12 Nov. 2014. <>.